Congress suffered yet another debacle in the municipal polls as the BJP swept majority of the municipal bodies and maintained its lead in others. The ruling party recorded a thumping victory in five out of the six prominent municipal corporations and kept its lead in 18 municipal councils and 22 municipalities.
Jodhpur that has traditionally been a Congress stronghold too was invaded by the BJP while in Udaipur the party swept 49 out of the total 55 seats. The Congress had pinned its hopes on Jodhpur and Bikaner but both voted in favour of the BJP. The party also retained Kota and Jaipur but in Bharatpur independent candidates managed to bag 21 out of the total 50 seats while BJP won 18 and Congress 11. With its lead, BJP is likely to form a board here too with support from independent candidates.
The victory in Udaipur strengthened Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s position in his home constituency. Kataria, who led the party in the municipal polls, was also credited for the outstanding performance across the state. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje while addressing the party workers at the BJP headquarters in the state capital lauded Kataria’s contribution and dedicated the victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot’s formula to give out tickets to the youth failed to show its impact. While accepting defeat, Pilot said, “Our voteshare has increased but that performance pales out when you see the composite picture. However this will not affect our confidence. We will start working for the upcoming panchayat polls right from tomorrow. The Congress party has strong roots in the rural areas and we are hopeful we will make a good comeback.”
Following the recent assembly bypoll elections where the Congress had won three out of the four seats, the party had hoped it was back on track. However the municipal poll results came as a rude shock to the party on Tuesday. The party’s loss in Jodhpur, Bikaner and Udaipur have been particularly alarming. In Udaipur, Congress managed to secure only three out of 55 seats while in Jodhpur, where the party has been power for two consecutive terms managed to grab 19 out of 65 seats.
“This was a historic election. The results will shatter the Congress’ pride. They had thought that by winning three bypoll assembly seats they would oust BJP,” Kataria said.